This Saturday, February 23rd, marks the 1-year anniversary of the Geriatrics Emergency Department at Mount Sinai. Recognizing that the US population is aging, and that existing emergency departments were too often designed around provider’s needs – rather than that of their older patients – Mount Sinai emergency medicine researcher Ula Hwang was one of the first to describe the compelling need for specialized geriatric emergency care. Transforming that vision into a reality involved years of planning, construction and even specialized programming of our electronic systems.
Under the leadership of ED Vice Chairs Kevin Baumlin and Lynne Richardson, the Geriatric Emergency Department at Mount Sinai was built with senior care in mind – railings and special floors to reduce falls, quieter alarms and curtains, mattresses that facilitate transport and prevent pressure ulcers – and a “skylight” to mark the natural passage of time, which helps keep patients oriented.
Now Mount Sinai has treated thousands of emergencies in patients over 65, and was recognized by CMS with an Innovations grant to study whether these specialized geriatric ED care interventions lead to better outcomes among patients. The Emergency Department is hosting an event next month to recognize Mount Sinai’s contributions to emergency care at the extremes of life – please support their efforts to continue innovation and excellence.